Hard blow for the fishermen in the northern part of the Charente-Maritime. While the scallop fishery (finally) had opened, Thursday, the presence of a toxin at too high levels was reaffirmed, forcing them to reject all of the day’s catch. According to Southwest, the approximately 50 boats returning from Pertuis Breton, between the Ile de Ré and the Vendée coast, had to release between 200 and 400 kg of scallops.
Fishermen in the north will not be able to market their scallops until early December, we learned from fishermen’s officials and the prefecture. The results of the analyzes “show toxicity with a risk to human health when ingested”, the prefecture explained in a press release.
The result of the tests was known right after the morning fishing
The scallop season could not start as planned at the beginning of the month due to a level of toxin Amnesic shellfish poison (ASP) above the health threshold of 20 mg / kg, but it could finally open on Thursday after two very favorable weekly test results.
However, new samples, the results of which became known on Thursday just after the morning fishery, revealed an amount of 30 mg / kg of this so-called amnesic toxin, which prevented the marketing of the fish product.
The head of local fishermen pessimistic for the rest of the season
“ASP does not come back often, but it is always present in our waters,” explained the chairman of the departmental fisheries committee, Philippe Micheau. “No one knows what caused this resurgence, neither the scientists nor us. We went down to 3 mg, then to 4 mg and yesterday it went back to 30 ”. No scallops from Charentais Strait could be marketed this fall, and the head of local fishermen is “pessimistic” for the rest of the season, which ends on December 22nd.
This fishery represents, on average, “between one-third and one-quarter of the annual turnover” of the fifty boats that operate it locally, explained Romuald Coutanceau, a member of the Fisheries Committee. Already this year, Charentais fishermen have had to deplore the presence of very large numbers of squid, a particularly ferocious species, in Pertuis, an area that serves as a breeding ground for crustaceans and shellfish.